|Image Courtesy of Droid Life|
Online tracking can be used to improve business technique, and make online personalization easier and better. If you have ever seen advertisements on websites that seem to be the same subject of your recent searches, it is not a coincidence. According to The Wall Street Journal, advertisements are most likely using cookies to see what your recent searches are. In some cases this can be risky and an invasion of privacy, but can be avoided by turning of cookie collection in the privacy section of your computer. A positive side of this data collection is that it makes the websites you visit more personalized, and can show topics that you are more interesting in. In addition, it helps companies sell and attract more customers because they are portraying items or subjects that are of the user’s interest. Websites also may collect information to personalize the web page you are visiting. In some cases, the tracking of user information can be used in the wrong ways such as identity theft, but the majority of the websites that collect information don’t sell or give your information away. However, one must be careful of the amount of information they put out, or the sites they visit so that sites that are potential risks don’t use your information in the wrong way.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama has stated in a speech "The bottom line is that people around the world—regardless of their nationality—should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account" This is an example of how our information is only being used in useful and beneficial ways. In addition, Obama has also decided to move bulk storage of information that is being collected from the NSA into safer and more secure computers. There is, however, about way the NSA is using collected data to enforce national security. According to The Washington Post, the NSA is using cookies to track and watch for activity done by hackers. A cookie is a small file that records and collects information that is done on things such as websites. This helps to make the internet a safer place despite the fact that user information is being collected. "The security of users' data is critical, which is why we've invested so much in encryption and fight for transparency around government requests for information" -Chief Executive Larry Page to Washington Post. By “Piggybacking” or collecting information from established cookies, the NSA and it’s British partner, GCHQ, are able to narrow down on users that may be possible hackers.
Overall, the protection of National Security and the people who use technology is made possible through the collection of online data. While the collection of data can be used for customization by websites, it is best used to protect National Security.
Blog Conclusion March 5, 2014
I chose this topic for my blog assignment because I felt like the issue of online tracking is a topic that is commonly discussed. In addition to it being a common topic, it is also a topic that is typically refereed to as bad or dangerous. While online tracking can have severe results, there are upsides to it if used for the right purposes. I wanted people to understand that when used for the right reasons, and in limitation, that online tracking can benefit an individual in ways to protect them, and to make their online experience better. To clarify, I believe that limited data collection for security purposes and basic things like online shopping is fairly reasonable. Data collecting can range from websites remembering passwords to the collection of bulk data, and it is important that we are careful about the info we put out. While reading other posts, I learned more about online issues and problems that I didn't even know existed. I also learned important things such as safe password creation and the dangers of using the internet. All the articles were detailed and well written, and I learned a lot about the internet and how it affects an individual. To answer some of the questions posted on my page I had looked at some of my sources and new sources to help clarify my answers. Overall, I feel that my page was engaging enough for readers and proved to be an interesting topic.